Julius Caesar at National Theatre

I suppose playing Julius Caesar in Shakespeare’s play as Donald Trump is obvious when you think about it. Producers are always looking for a new angle for their productions and like to show Shakespeare is still relevant and for all time. This National Theatre production makes the connection early.  The noisy rally, the merchandise and finally when Caesar throws the red baseball cap into the crowd all make the point for the spectator. David Calder (faced with having Shakespeare’s lines so he can not utter typically Donald Trump expressions) does a sterling job of copying Trump’s mannerisms and gestures with great accuracy.  I saw that a hairstylist was credited for this production. I just so wish she had been allowed to give Calder an orange comb over.

British critics, however, have seen Nicholas Hytner’s production for the National Theatre as a commentary on the vacillations of the Brexiteers. I can’t comment on that watching the play from an antipodean perspective. I still see the play as the tragedy of Brutus as I did in the 1970s and 1980s when I taught it to unwilling students.  Brutus, like Hillary Clinton, fails to see the appeal of a purely emotive approach to campaigning for the loyalty of the fickle mob while Mark Anthony like Trump hits his listeners right where they feel. The story always triumphs over a well-reasoned argument, the populist orator over a high minded intellectual.

Ben Whishaw’s portrayal of Brutus seems to polarise the critics, yet he is so convincing as the impractical intellectual caught up in a nasty coup. When one of the crowd calls out “Then let him be Caesar”, you can see his pain at realising the crowd has not understood his intentions.

Critics have panned David Morrissey as being too old to be convincing as Mark Anthony. I can not see their argument. Morrissey works the audience in that famous speech like a maestro. He is totally convincing and demonstrates that audiences can respond to rhetoric just as well as to Donald Trump’s appeal to the lowest common denominator.

The National Theatre has an interesting practice of playing women in male roles and people of other ethnicities in roles where we have been accustomed to Europeans. This always challenges me. Michelle Fairley is electrifying as Cassius and she looks just the part when Caesar gives the “mean and hungry look” speech. Critics have criticised her large handbag, but that just reminds me of Maggie Thatcher, which is surely the point? Similarly, the actress playing Calpurnia is of Asian descent and that gives another nuance to the scene where she tries to persuade Caesar to stay home. Like the Lady Macbeth character in Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood, played by a traditional Japanese woman, we westerners can feel a dissonance at the spectacle of an Asian woman being assertive with her husband. The only problem is that in the scenes where Cassius wins Brutus over to the conspiracy, because they are now between a man and a woman, it feels like they have a suppressed love attachment.

The staging is innovative with a theatre in the round and a series of platforms which can be raised or lowered to create the actors a space above the audience – who are standing promenade style like the groundlings of old. What I liked was how the audience then became the mob in the mob scenes with the actors interspersed among the spectators. While this can not have been easy for audience or stage crew especially in the battle , I have always liked productions where the invisible wall between actors and spectators is broken down – although I don’t recall seeing any other productions which do this since the early 1970s.

The stage crew in this production had quite a challenge to convert the stage from the streets of Rome to the battlefield at Philippi. It seemed effortless, however. There was no intermission to create the chaotic scenes. The lighting and sound were amazing at creating the battle on stage. I understand some performances in The Bridge Theatre concluded with the audience applauding the

For divers reasons

For divers reasons best known to themselves, the Government in their discretion retreated from that position. [William Fitzherbert,  1874, Hansard Page 377, Forests Bill.]

International Womens’ Day has just passed for another year with a lot of discussion about the need for greater diversity in our workplaces and boardrooms. I was struck however by earlier comments by Phil O”Reilly and Jo Cribb in their piece in the DominionPost just one year ago (Variety is the spice of life).

I also agree that diversity in the workplace is more than an equity issue, that a diverse and inclusive workplace is more innovative, more productive, more engaged and more successful- a win win situation for shareholders, managers and employees.

I am disappointed however that they define diversity exclusively in terms of gender and ethnicity. We are increasingly recognising that age, sexual orientation, physical appearance and something I will call neurological difference are considerations of what a truly diverse workforce would look like.

It is ironic that in the Dominion Post of 13 March 2017, Dave Armstrong examines how we still discriminate on the basis of age as if a person’s age is a reliable predictor of performance and creativity.

We have also had recently examination of the challenges for schools in accommodating transgender students. I suspect transgender people feel similarly in the world of work when we see that they are more likely to be self employed or work in small enterprises.

In recent years people with a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome have been arguing that their neurological condition is not an illness or an impediment. They see the problem has been acceptance by what they call “neurotypicals”.  Biographers and historians have been suggesting that key innovators like Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Alan Turing might have had a neurological orientation we would call Asperger’s Syndrome. Yet such people are often seen as misfits, odd, screwballs, because neurotypical behaviour is seen as normal and people with that mind set can not see the benefits of having these people offer alternative viewpoints.

What is the hope that we will see “aspies” accepted for the contribution that they offer to workplaces. If O’Reilly and Cribb’s viewpoint is the standard inclusive viewpoint we have a long way to go

Ever decreasing circles

The world is governed more by appearances than realities, so that it is fully as necessary to seem to know something as to know it.
– Daniel Webster

If a man knows not what harbour he seeks, any wind is the right wind.  – Seneca

The notion which Webster describes here can go some way to explaining why inept people become managers or acquire positions of influence.  It can also show us the way to advance our own ideas and interests provided we do not set high ethical standards.

Teachers become adept at this as they are called on to relieve for colleagues or replace a teacher who left suddenly, especially in a subject where it is hard to recruit teachers. Fake it until you make it is a term I have heard used in Commerce and Management but it has wider application. I can’t see it working in surgery, however, – although we have recently seen cases of fraudsters posing as psychiatrists and evading detection for some considerable time.

In educational management I have seen people appointed and hoping against hope that they can wing it by doing what their predecessor did. This in spite of the fact they may have been appointed to carry out a major change. It does explain why people hired to carry out a change in an organisation fail. They simply were not committed to the change. They also had little idea of what they wanted to do. Status and salary advancement were the furthest their thinking had gone. So what do they do once appointed? The safe option is to do what their predecessor did. Doing the same thing is a sure way of achieving the same result.

Increasingly, Governments and senior bureaucrats are impatient at the lack of progress, but, having few tools open to them to influence change, they simply squeeze the organisation with funding cuts. Staff are made redundant, including the managers who failed to deliver. Another recruitment round begins and the same mistakes are made in the new appointments. The process is one of ever decreasing circles. It is not progress.

If I had a hammer

If  the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   Abraham Maslow.
Maslow’s aphorism can explain much about the bizarre elements of management behaviour.  I have been puzzled at times by the actions of certain managers. Maslow has helped me realise that one possible reason why these people behave in such inappropriate, counter productive and disrespectful ways, is because they are unable to cope with the situation they find themselves in.  Perhaps a more famous epigram might also apply.  Laurence Peter’s principle that the cream rises until it sours, that is in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.
We may see, therefore that successful classroom teachers are promoted to be managers and administrators and when faced with difficult situations with their staff, revert to behaving as teachers with unruly students.  When the staff members prove more resilient than adolescents, showing an understanding of such matters as the principles of natural justice and a  willingness to use employment law, the administrator reverts even further to the behaviour of a child in a contest of wills with their own parents.
The result unfortunately is that staff and manager fail to work effectively together.  Each blames the other and somewhere along the line the manager leaves and another manager is appointed to repeat the cycle.
The answer is to recruit people who have the potential to be good managers. However, when appointment committees are riddled with nepotism and believe that past performance is the key to determining future performance, then we will continue to see good teachers appointed to jobs they are not capable of performing.
It would also help if managers were given training to perform their jobs but all to often they believe this is quite unnecessary.  Also, as it any occupation, the practice of the reflective practitioner should be encouraged. Only when people analyse their own conduct and focus less on the conduct of their staff, then they might start looking for creative solutions and avoiding strategies which simply make the problem worse.

Popped in between th’ election and my hopes

So the New Zealand Children’s Commissioner, Andrew Becroft thinks we should allow 16 and 17 year olds to have the vote. Certainly at 16 I would have welcomed this opportunity and my mother would have voiced the same opposition that we have heard to Judge Becroft’s proposal. 16 year old’s are not responsible enough to vote. My brother’s view back when I was 16 is that if we are old enough to die for our country (he was going on 19) we should be old enough to vote for the government which committed the country to war..

I think the decision back in 1975 to lower the voting age to 18 went a long way to answering my brother’s objection. No New Zealander serves in the armed forces overseas until they are 19 and now days the Army checks all claims about age.

So are we ready to lower the voting age further?

Apparently several countries have already made this provision. Interestingly no one has investigated how this works in those countries. Do the young people vote? Do they appreciate the right? What do the community and the political parties think about this? Is the right being abused or corrupted?

Not a lot of sixteen and seventeen year olds in this country have expressed an opinion. Most of the comments I have read or heard come from people of my mother’s age back when I was 16. They are agin it.

Now that I am not sixteen but older than my mother was when I was sixteen, am I as reactionary or still the dewy eyed liberal? What I am is a person with over forty years working with young people including volunteering in 1975 to enrol the 18 to 20 year old voters. My experience suggests that Judge Becroft is not expressing a view communicated to him by the target group. The young people I worked with were varied. I can recall last year talking with a fourteen year old with a deep interest in politics and a considerable understanding. He was also very conservative. I consider he would be able to vote sensibly. I also worked with 17 year old’s who was indifferent to politics and 18 year olds who had no interest in casting a vote in the local body election. Neither for that matter were their parents.

I seem to recall also that it is the younger voter who does not vote and if they do not vote at 18 then they are likely to refrain from voting as they age. That fact makes the claim that if young people can vote at 16 6then they will acquire the habit of voting. This claim doesn’t just lack evidence. It contradicts the evidence we do have.

Simply, people mature at different rates and grow up to have a range of abilities. Wisdom, maturity whatever we want in voters comes in different amounts in each person. To make a blanket statement that all 16 -17 year olds are too immature to vote is false. I have known many who would make considered decisions Others were too immature but then would not bother to vote anyway. I worked on many occasions as a polling officer and I can tell you that some adults who cast a vote were irresponsible in their conduct and if maturity was the test of who could vote then more than a few would be disqualified.

Why do we make these age distinctions as if a person’s actual age has a particular meaning? It is simply administrative convenience.  A constant theme of this blog is that bureaucrats take over our laws and administer them in a way to suit the bureaucrats and not the intended beneficiaries. However, here what would anyone do? It would be great if we identified all the 14- 17 year olds who could vote responsibly and give them the vote but who is to decide who these voters are? It would still fall back on the bureaucrats and they would be exercising a judgement which could easily be called into question. 17 year olds who could not vote and ordinarily would not exercise their right would suddenly become aggrieved and strident. Look at how the draft was exercised in World War One for an example of the mess we would get into.

I don’t know of any solution.  For this reason, I support Judge Becroft’s proposal. The 16 -17 year olds who will exercise their vote responsibly will have the opportunity. The buffoons are just as likely not to vote. They’re not bothering at 18 so it is a sure bet they would not at 16.

Green Fields

I knew

there was but one way; for his nose was as sharp as

a pen, an a’ babbled of green fields…

As each new year begins, more schools make the transition to Twenty First Century Classrooms and buildings from the 1930s are redesigned and declared suitable for a new pedagogy. The flipped classroom, BYOD; are they descriptions, war cries or marketing tools? I wonder though, does Education 3.0 have to be about redesigned classroom? Especially when those new learning spaces are contained within 1930s buildings?

Vibe Advisory 15 Feb 2016

That is one of my learning spaces, a site which converts to some other purpose as soon as we leave it. Tables, chairs, laptops and a wifi connection.

Or is this my leaning space?ENO2000 Landing page

It is a room in a backpackers’ hostel, a cabin on a yacht, a campervan, anywhere where my Year 12 students are studying.

Why do I have it arranged this way? Partly I am constrained by the software, partly by the fact this is still a new experience for both me and my students. As we become more confident, things will change.

Certainly this is better than the old postal service with its costs, its unreliability and its delays. Yet I feel this is more unrealised potential than some vibrant new learning space. Almost one month of the new year gone and I’d expected a lot more to have happened.

The future is before us

Fare forward, you who think you are voyaging;

You are not those who saw the harbour

Receding, or those who will disembark.

Here between the hither and the farther shore

While time is withdrawn, consider the future

And past with an equal mind.

[T.S Eliot]

At my school, 2016 is the year when most of our students, those enrolled in Year 11 classes will study on line. From the conversations I have had, many teachers seem to be unsure of how they will manage this new challenge. I am fortunate in that I had Year 9 and 10 students last year and so experienced what the transition involved.

Because I have looked forward to this moment, I have spent time to learn the software and familiarised myself with the Desire2learn website. I have written my own blog in the program, monitored the Discussions and last year we grappled with the Dropbox. My students showed a total reluctance to express themselves in blogs and were little more forthcoming in the Discussions but I did enjoy the comments and posts of my colleagues’ students.  Dropbox was the crucial piece of the puzzle and was difficult because my students had difficulty managing the task of uploading their work to the Dropbox.

I have blogged on numerous occasions about how Marc Prensky’s Digital Natives Digital Immigrants model does not describe the situation that I see. My students are quite confident using computers. I found they all had Facebook accounts and logged into Facebook regularly but they are using the update and instant messaging functions exclusively. They did not use Twitter although millions of adolescents must be, if the number who follow Justin Bieber are anything to go by. However, their supervisors needed to set up Google Accounts so they could create documents in Google Drive.  When it came to uploading these documents to Dropbox, the fun began. I admire the girl who found my private Gmail account and sent her documents to me there. By year’s end some students were able to manage an upload quite quickly. Let us hope that skill remains with them and has some value in their future learning. Poplet, however, is still an aspiration for 2016.

Given that I will need to help my students and their supervisors, what should I be doing now while I have time?  The answer seems to be some tutorials.  Our school has provided a range of written manuals and tutorials in Adobe Connect. My students did not use these in 2015. I think I need to be more familiar with each of these tutorials and promote them more heavily. I wonder, however if I should develop my own tutorials using Jing. This seems to be the only widely used screencasting software. My hope is that  it is less intimidating to our students and their supervisors, so they will use it.

I do not see the challenges as being a lack of broadband or slow download speeds. Nor do I see this as a crisis of teacher competence to use the software. It is the digital divide.  For some it is that they do not have computers or tablets. For a small number it is that they have no electricity in their homes. It really is that literate and competent students are also digitally literate and that priority learners who are disengaged are just as disengaged when the teaching and learning is on line. Perhaps we need to move more quickly to an Education 3.0 approach.

The dark before the dawn

As 2015 begins, I find my thoughts constantly return to the prospect of starting the year with on line delivery of at least some of our teaching programmes.

I see the situation as one where we know what we have to do and just have to take those first hesitant steps.

My granddaughter is almost six months old. She will try to crawl when her mother places her on her stomach. So far she has the reach and grasp part but she is just inches from the desirable object, which flashes, vibrates and makes a musical sound. However any movement from her legs is usually in reverse so she moves further from the prize, not closer. She just hasn’t worked out how to put it all together and co ordinate legs and arms. What is clear is the motivation. She wants to grasp the amazing toy.

Is the problem with introducing on line learning in our school like that? We are close to achieving the capability to teach on line. We see the golden dawn but unlike my granddaughter we lack the motivation to put one foot forward and start to walk towards it. Our staff do not want to teach on line.

Perhaps the question is; how do we find the motivation to raise one foot off the ground. The Government and Treasury think the solution is performance pay. I’ve never accepted this idea as T. S Eliot observed there is many a slip twixt the cup and the lip. The devil lies in the detail. Who will be rewarded with the extra payments? The Secretary for Treasury thinks this will be the best performing teachers.  However, he neglects to say how this performance will be measured. Into that vacuum will step our school principals and the age old system of cronyism. Unable to objectively define how the best teachers can be identified our principals will continue to reward their cronies.

Others might note that my granddaughter is the quintessential digital native. I have, after all, images of her on my computer and on my smart phone – but doesn’t that show how techie I am, not her?  Nevertheless the Digital Natives / Digital Immigrants model is a safe way to analyse the situation we face. My granddaughter is certainly motivated to learn but at this developmental phase it is learning to crawl. I studied a little psycholinguistics and child development earlier in my career. My linguistics lecturer, having talked about King James the First’s experiments with how children learn to talk, concluded that children will learn to walk but need role models to learn to talk. My education lecturer introduced us to Noam Chomsky’s Language Acquisition Device, that children are also programmed to learn language. However children will not learn to talk and certainly acquire differing levels of language ability one from another.

Does it follow that children are hard wired to use computers?  I don’t think Marc Prensky and the neuroscientists who followed him would argue that. Rather my granddaughter will be motivated and will learn to use computers.

The problem is that Prensky’s model quickly becomes a case of arguing that older teachers can not learn to use computers and teach on line so retire them and hire younger, new teachers. I’m not at all sure that the age of a teacher is a reliable guide to their skill with ICT.  What I’m more sure about is that teacher appointment is just as much steeped in the curse of cronyism. Teachers deemed unfit to teach in the new age will be selected on the basis of their unpopularity with their principal.  Those selected to replace them will be selected on the basis of the enthusiasm they project, who their friends are and their physical attractiveness.

The problem with the human race is human nature, but we may be at our weakest, when we think we are being objective and dispassionate, while still being irrational and biased.

Growing bigger or growing smarter?

This year I have had the opportunity to attend the New Zealand Teachers of English conference, Vintage to Visionary and the Core-Ed ulearn13 conference.  Although I found a lot of items of relevance at both conferences, they were remarkably different beasts.  ulearn was a leviathan of 1400 delegates, NZATE with 400, more a gazelle.   NZATE attracted some delegates from the Ministry of Education and the Colleges of Education but was mostly attended by secondary school teachers of English. ulearn was 66 percent Primary Sector teachers and only 26% from Secondary. Other teacher educators were well represented as were Principals and Deputy Principals but it was the scale of the ulearn conference which was its first determining feature.

At the NZATE conference, I mostly attended workshops on ICT in schools so might have thought that teachers of English are very savvy users of electronic media.  However, simple analyses such as the Twitter feeds coming from each conference reveal that ulearn is the pre eminent forum for e-learning in New Zealand. Partly because of competitions, but not entirely, uLearn13 became a trending topic on Twitter.   There was little chance of Vintage to Visionary doing the same thing even allowing for the smaller number of attendees.  Right at the outset, the organisers of ulearn announced the conference had contracted a new service, Strea.ma,to aggregate the discussion about ulearn on Twitter and Facebook. Ken Shelton at the beginning of his keynote declared that “the most intelligent person in the room is the room” and set up a meet up on Today’s Meet.  This web page allowed him to see all the Tweets which used #ulearn13 as a hashtag.  The Today’s Meet page has now expired but we do have a copy of the traffic in Google Drive.

Image

Image source Karen Melhuish-Spencer [http://karenmelhuishspencer.com/2013/10/13/ulearn13-reflection-four-ideas-in-evolution/]

The result as the graph shows.  The twittererstream is available here.  My own research showed less than 10 tweets at Vintage to Visionary.

Another measure of the greater familiarity with ICT is the number of blog posts following each conference. Again the delegates at ulearn13 have been blogging extensively giving us a detailed record of the conference.  I was able to find just two blog posts after Vintage to Visionary.

Connectivity

The delegates at ulearn13 embraced the idea of connectivity which was demonstrated in the first keynote and discussed at length at the second. In the first workshop I attended Leslie MacKintosh of Learning Media demonstrated one way teachers can connect through TKI (Te Kete Ipurangi). In the sixth Claire Amos encouraged delegates to sign up to another, VLN (Virtual Learning Network)

Mark Pesce in his keynote argued that one of the significant issues in the connectivity debate, the digital divide is more a paper tiger than an ogre beneath the bridge.  He demonstrated how cheap connectivity devices are already available and that the cost of smart phones and tablets is coming down.

In my fourth workshop Geoff Wood of Rosmini College hooked up with Apii Rutaki Schol in the Cook Islands, an Australian school, Coppel High School in Dallas Texas, Washington State University and Kuoppanummen Koulukeskus in Finland, which given the time difference was quite a sacrifice for the Finnish teacher, Pirjo Levaniemi. Here students were either practising their language skills or studying Health Sciences. Geoff outlined the practical difficulties in synchronous connectivity: American schools were on holiday and came back just before the Australian schools closed which was just before the New Zealand school holidays.  The students ranged widely in age but even the shyest in the Cook Islands became very confident over time.

Collaboration

Ken Shelton, the first keynote speaker spoke of people who grow rather than hold their learning and so enrich others. Nat Torkington in his workshop re examined this issue, arguing that we did not have to be afraid of people stealing our ideas since ideas are plentiful. Rather it was the task of putting those ideas into practice and in persuading people to adopt new ways of thinking were the real problem. Torkington also used a simple Google doc to allow his audience to set up a workable back channel while John Carr in the next workshop encouraged collaboration by the older pen and paper technology but presenting the combined efforts of the participants in a shared electronic document.

Implementing e-learning

I went to the conference hoping to gather ideas about how Te Kura could advance its own plans to move into e learning.  Ken Shelton saw the process as a three step transformation of inclusion to amplification to transformation but did not elaborate the process.  He also spoke of teachers as risk assertive or risk aversive, that the best approach was to acknowledge the risks but to go ahead with innovations anyway.

Nat Torkington spoke more about business start ups than how schools might bring about worthwhile change acknowledging that the most successful schools to implement new ways of operating were new schools where the principal appointed his staff. Claire Amos proposed the use of the teaching as inquiry model used in staff PLD programmes as a way of fostering change. I also attended a session where two teachers presented their research into the use of SOLO questioning approaches as a way to encourage students to engage in deeper thinking.. Their conclusion was, however, it was the teacher not the programme who made the difference.

Dame Anne Salmond

Dame Anne concluded the conference.  She began her address with a quip she attributed to Winston Churchill;  a speech should be like a dress, long enough to cover the subject but short enough to maintain interest.  It was more political than the other keynotes but I was left unsure what I should take away from hearing it. I did like her second quotation from an old Hebrew Scholar: : “Do not condemn your children to your own mode of learning, for they were born in a different world.”

Derek Wenmoth offers an alternative assessment on his blog.  Karen Melhuish-Spencer is also kinder in her post.

It was the last workshop with Peter Murgatroyd which had the most immediate practical application for me.  While Mark Pesce and Ken Shelton had demonstrated how the rise of Web 2.0 had given us a wealth of information, Murgatroyd argued that we need to teach students how to avoid being overwhelmed by the data.  He also showed us how Google,using a history of our previous searches, selects what it thinks we want, effectively screening our information we might have wanted. He related a range of anecdotes to show that students (and adults) assess the reliability of a website purely by aesthetics and that we need to teach digital literacy.

 

And gathering fellows twitter in surprise

John Keats was a poet for all time as he reveals in the closing line of Ode to Autumn, “and gathering swallows twitter in the skies”.

As Steven Johnson reveals in his seminal article on Twitter, How Twitter will change the way we live;  in the Twenty First Century, it isn’t just flocks of swallows which can tweet when in a gathering. He describes how the debate at a small educational conference spread through the use of Twitter as a much wider conversation. After reading his article, I thought I had discovered a way to participate in a professional conference without the need to travel.  However, my suggestion to the organiser of the New Zealand Association of Teachers of English conference met with confusion and an apologetic rejection.  I wasn’t surprised.  Many in the profession are overawed by the technology and with that awe comes a fear; fear of the unknown and with that fear a flight response.  More of a squawk than a twitter, however.

I next encountered the use of a conference hashtag in the Ulearn conference of the same year.  No confusion or bewilderment here but a hashtag which had been thought out with some care.  I went to see what was being discussed at the conference and found there was no discussion but appreciative comments about the venue and, yes, the catering.   This was more the hoot of a wise old owl than a twittering of swallows.

Cliff Atkinson’s book, The Backchannel, which elaborated on Johnson’s article, showed me that the idea was still worth pursuing and that setting up a back channel was more like passing notes in the back of the classroom and did not need the involvement or approval of the conference organisers. Perhaps a jackdaw rather than a swallow.

Ever the optimist, I went prepared, to this year’s NZATE conference, Vintage to Visionary; Twitter set up on my smart phone and my android tablet charged up; all the accessories of a switched on educator.  However in the midst of an engaging keynote address I became aware of the obvious, tweeting while the speaker is talking is like passing notes in class.  How can you engage with the speaker while making witty or pertinent comments on their argument?  I could comment but without the guarantee anyone was following me.  Worse still, I did that at the peril of missing whatever pearls of wisdom were dropping from the speaker’s mouth.  The proper time for the back channel to operate is after the speaker has finished, much as there are questions at the end.  Not a swansong, as that has the sense of a final ending, perhaps the murmuring of doves?